Our Views: Freedom, to a point

In a free country, a company — like the network that suspended “Duck Dynasty” for a time — has the right to make a commercial decision to protect its image.

When Duck patriarch Phil Robertson made offensive comments in an interview, outside of the regular broadcasts, there was a furor. And although people have a right to their opinions, his network probably overreacted; still, the Monroe family’s show is still on the air.

Now, though, gay activists have criticized an Internet company, Mozilla, for hiring as CEO Brandon Eich. His offense: He made perfectly legal donations some years ago to a California proposition battle opposing gay marriage.

Should he lose his new job over some relatively modest political activism? He already has. The company, like the A&E Network, made a commercial decision because Eich’s views are out of favor in the overwhelmingly gay-friendly tech industry in California.

Mozilla has a right to part company with its CEO, but we question how wise a decision this is, because there are no outrageous offending views expressed by Eich; most of the voters in California agreed with him on the famous Proposition 8, which was ultimately overturned by the courts anyway.

In a free country, are we a little less free if boycotts over the political views of employees provoke such a reaction?